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Nancy Chaplin
Sound Commentary, April 2011

Literally translated In Search of Lost Time, Proust’s monumental work is over 3,000 pages long; this abridged audio production is a valuable tool for those who want a less daunting exploration into this great work. Consisting of seven volumes, Remembrance of Things Past is a novel that is less about plot than memory itself. Written between1909 and 1922, the narrator (Proust himself) is a sensitive young man who grows up in an upper-crust ménage of artists, elites, effetes, society driven, royalty-crazed, snobs and decadents. The listener is drawn into the dazzling world of the rich with sensual descriptions of gardens, food, fashion, décor. It is a feast for the senses, which are often rudely jarred by the pomposity of the characters. Yet, that is where narrator Neville Jason’s virtuosity as an actor shines so brilliantly. Jason’s spirited acting, accompanied by Roy McMillan, lifts this production to new heights. Each narrator handles a huge cast of outrageous eccentrics with force and distinction. Breaks in the major scenes of the novel have an especially written narration to alert the listener. The breaks also include classical music of the period which adds to the delight of an exceptional production.

David A. Walton
AudioFile, August 2010

The art of abridgment and the art of narration are both fully tested in this compression of Proust’s gargantuan masterpiece into 10 smooth hours of listening. Neville Jason wonderfully captures Proust’s distinctive narrative voice: its unwavering detachment and the underlying affection with which this most meticulous of authors dissects each element of memory and feeling. Jason’s rendering of male voices is excellent, in particular his matchless portrayal of the Baron de Charlus...The abridgment itself is excellent, matching in outline Proust’s own strategy of broad sweeps and lingering exactitudes. The bridge-synopses are clear, to the point, and distinctive from the text, and the individual passages are well chosen. The effect is exactly what is desired: a self-sufficient abridgment that captures the spirit, character, and a good part of the content of the original.

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